Guitar donated by the Cure $1025
In March 2005, MAPS held its first-ever benefit auction. Thanks to the generous donations of MAPS supporters, we listed over 40 different items, using Ebay’s charitable giving program, Giving Works. Despite our inexperience with Ebay, the auction was a big success, raising about $20,000!
The items donated varied widely, though “psychedelic memorabilia” was a broad theme that many items fit. Psychedelic chemist Sasha Shulgin donated what were probably the most unique items, glassware from his famous home laboratory. MAPS made about $2000 from the sale of these beakers, vials, and flasks. We received books signed by authors like Albert Hofmann, Jonathan Ott, and Myron Stolaroff, as well as blotter art signed by Hofmann, Tim Leary, John Lilly, and Sasha Shulgin. Feminist porn guru Annie Sprinkle (who contributed to our “Sex, Spirit, & Psychedelics” issue) even donated a blotter art tit print.
The highest-selling items were art, including a set of 14 signed, framed prints of psychedelic luminary portraits by Dean Chamberlain, which sold for $2600. (See the inside front cover for an example of Dean’s work.) A gorgeous Huichol yarn painting sold for $1500. Not all the items were psychedelic-specific, however. Authors Tom Robbins and Andrew Weil each signed books specifically for the auction, and the very popular rock band The Cure signed a guitar for the event, which sold for $1025.
We had an unexpected stroke of good luck in advertising the event when Wired.com ran a front-page feature about the auction, called “It takes money to feed your head.” You can read it here.
Pyrex flask donated by Dr. Shulgin $200
Thanks to everyone who donated and everyone who bid — you made our first auction a fantastic fundraiser for MAPS’ operational expenses. And if you were bid out, don’t worry — we plan to continue this project in the future. Contact Brandy Doyle if you already know what you’d like to donate for next time.
Huichol Yarn Painting $1500